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We’re celebrating the start of Autumn with a batch of delicious fresh fig recipes! My Fresh Figgy Sour Cocktail is not to be missed!  You’ll find all this season’s new fresh fig recipes at the bottom of this post.

fresh fig and arugula salad

FRESH FIG AND ARUGULA SALAD – Served with Champagne Vinaigrette

This Fresh Fig and Arugula Salad’s beautiful array of colors come from the best of the Fall season’s ingredients.

Juicy fresh figs, crisp fennel and sweet potato “chips” make lovely toppings for a bed of sassy arugula.  Top it all with some cubes of gorgonzola and crispy pancetta for an incredible Fall salad.

 

PREPPING THE FRESH FIG AND ARUGULA SALAD INGREDIENTS

fresh fig and arugula salad

When you find fresh figs in season, it just makes sense to use them in all kinds of ways, not just in a sweet dessert.  My Fresh Fig and Arugula Salad is a delicious way to enjoy fresh figs in a savory setting.

I don’t know about you, but I love a salad that contrasts warm and cold ingredients.  And that’s exactly how I created this salad to be presented. But if time is not your friend, all the ingredients can be prepped ahead of time and assembled before serving.  

I like to get the figs and fennel cut before I begin cooking the other ingredients.  That makes assembling the salad a quick process once your pancetta and sweet potatoes are cooked and ready.

 

MAKING SWEET POTATO “CHIPS”

fresh fig and arugula saladYou’ll start by thinly slicing some sweet potatoes to make “crispy chips” that give this salad lots of texture and a nice crunch.

I like to use a mandoline for slicing anything really thin, but a very sharp meat knife can do the job too.

Quickly blanching the sweet potato slices help them bake evenly and get nice and brown around the edges.

After blanching, lay them on a kitchen towel to drain.

Don’t be tempted to use paper towels, as you’ll end up with them stuck to all your potato slices.

Then into a bowl they go to be tossed with some olive oil, salt and pepper before heading into a 400°F oven.

You’ll want to watch the oven carefully to make sure that your chips don’t burn.

cooking panchetta

As I found out the hard way, the difference between golden brown and burnt can be just a few moments!

While they’re baking, you’ll fry up some diced pancetta to a almost-crispy finish, drain and keep warm.

Don’t overcook the meat.  I like to take it off the heat a minute or so before I think it’s ready, as pancetta can end up hard, instead of juicy, crispy tidbits.

 

 

ASSEMBLING YOUR FRESH FIG AND ARUGULA SALAD

Don’t forget to keep a few fronds from the top of your fennel bulb, as the feathery stalks make a beautiful garnish for the salad platter or plate.

Before my potatoes come out of the oven, I already have my salad partially assembled, with the pancetta staying warm in the wings.  

fresh fig and arugula salad

Once you’ve made a nice bed of arugula on your platter or salad plates, you’ll start layering your ingredients. 

Next comes the thinly sliced fennel, figs and gorgonzola, arranged evenly over the bed of greens.  When the chips come out of the oven, I quickly drain them and pop them right on the salad platter while still hot to the touch. 

After sprinkling the warm pancetta, the Fresh Fig and Arugula Salad is ready to serve.  I personally love to serve this Autumn salad with my Champagne Vinaigrette.  I’ve included the dressing recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

 

HAVE I GOT YOU CRAVING FRESH FIGS? I’VE GOT 3 MORE RECIPES FOR YOU!

fresh figgy sour cocktail

If you’re now “jonesing” for the taste of plump, sweet fresh figs, I’ve got 3 more delicious recipes for you to try.

Fresh figs aren’t just for desserts my friends, as you can see, their versatilty is endless!  You’ll want to read the Master Post for fresh figs also. That way you’ll learn which ones to choose and how to store fresh figs properly.

FRESH FIG RECIPES AND HOW TO STORE FRESH FIGS

FRESH FIGGY SOUR COCKTAIL

SWEET RICOTTA AND FRESH FIG APPETIZER

CARAMELIZED BALSAMIC FRESH FIG TOPPING

 

VISIT THE LIFESTYLE DIVA SHOPPE AT ETSY FOR PRINTABLES TO MAKE YOUR LIFE MORE FABULOUS!

 

fresh fig and arugula salad

Fresh Fig and Arugula Salad

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This Fresh Fig and Arugula Salad's beautiful array of colors comes from the best of the Fall season's ingredients. Juicy fresh figs, crisp fennel and sweet potato "chips" make lovely toppings for a bed of sassy arugula. Top it all with some cubes of gorgonzola for an incredible Fall salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 large, long shaped sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 8 oz. panchetta
  • 10 - 12 fresh figs, washed & halved or quartered
  • 1/2 large fennel, thinly cut into slices across root section
  • 6 cups arugula leaves
  • 6 oz. gorgonzola cheese (optional)
  • Fennel leaves for garnishing
  • Champagne Vinaigrette
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. tabasco sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel sweet potatoes and trim ends. Thinly slice potatoes with a sharp knife or mandalin.

2. Toss sliced potatoes in olive oil and lay on a Pam sprayed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Place pan in preheated oven and let potatoes bake for 9 minutes, turn over and let cook for 5-7 minutes more, letting them begin to brown around the edges and become a bit crispy.

4. While potatoes are roasting, place the panchetta in a small nonstick skillet and place over medium heat. Cook meat, stirring occasionally until lightly browned and beginning to get crispy. Drain and put aside.

5. When potatoes are done, remove from oven and let slices cool on a metal rack.

6. Slice fennel in half lengthwise and remove leaves from one half. Thinly slice fennel across the base of the entire piece. Keep leaves for garnish and wrap remaining half and refrigerate for another use.

ASSEMBLE SALAD:

Place a bed of arugula on a platter or individual plates. Top with roasted sweet potatoes, cut fresh figs and sliced fennel. Sprinkle crispy panchetta and gongonzola cheese over top and garnish with fennel leaves.

Serve with Champagne Vinaigrette.

(Recipe for Champagne Vinaigrette is shown above)

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 422Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 21mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 4gSugar 25gProtein 8g

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